I was feeling pretty raggedy.
I’ve shared with you before that I suffer from an auto-immune disorder. It affects my hearing and my balance and makes it difficult to go out in public.
It’s hard for me to know when to push through and when to give in and stay in bed. But, on this day my son had just returned from one of his long trips and offered to take me to town for some much-needed supplies. I wanted to spend time with him and so I decided to push through.
We did a few errands and I could tell my dizziness was getting worse, but I hate always being the one who has to say, “That’s enough, I need to go home.” So, when my daughter texted that she and her kids were in a nearby store (and I could tell that my son wanted to surprise them) I kept my mouth shut.
I slowly made my way into the store with my cane and watched from afar as my 6’5” son tried to sneak up on his niece and nephew. Their screams of joy told me when he had found them.
I leaned against a shelf for balance as the world spun around me. I had one eye shut as I tried to combat the double vision and I remembered back to when I was the one running and sneaking through stores to surprise people. I used to be the type of person who sang and danced my way through even the most mundane tasks.
But, on that day, in that store, I felt nothing but sorrow. I wanted to go home. I wanted to hide in my bed where the dizziness didn’t matter so much. And, I wanted the old me back.
But, I am a mom and I’m pretty sure “pushing through” is written in the mom rulebook. So, I tried to pretend everything was fine.
As we headed for the long checkout line my dizziness got even worse and I realized I’d have to admit defeat and head to the car. So, I told my son that I’d meet him outside.
I took a step and then the lady in front of us in line said, “Wait, I need to talk to you before you go.”
“Oh, great,” I thought and wondered what in the world she wanted.
“First of all, you look really beautiful today,” she said matter-of-factly. “Your make-up is so pretty and your jewelry matches your shirt perfectly.” “Plus, that is a really good color on you.”
My mouth opened in surprise as tears filled my eyes. She grabbed me in a hug and held me tight.
“You have no idea how much I needed to hear that today,” I whispered in her ear.
As I headed slowly out to the car, I smiled through my tears. I was still dizzy and sick, I hadn’t been miraculously cured, but my heart felt lighter.
I’ll probably never see that sweet lady again, but her words were a balm to my soul. I now try to “push through” more often and go out into the world. And, when I do, I take the time to smile at strangers and talk to them. Because, you never know what hurdles they jumped through just to make it out of bed.